(ABC News Radio) Hundreds of suspected terrorists have been freed in a series of brazen jailbreaks that U.S. counter-terrorism analysts now suspect may all be part of an al Qaeda-coordinated “Great Escape”-like plot, officials told ABC News.

Just this week, a small group of the escaped showed themselves to be back to their old ways, captured on video carrying out an attack against security forces in Iraq.

While firm connections between the jailbreaks have not been conclusively established, similarities in the tactics al Qaeda-affiliated assault teams used to free known militants in Libya, Iraq and Pakistan, which all occurred within a week of each other this summer, and a relevant message on jailbreaks from Osama bin Laden’s successor, lead many to suspect coordination.

At a minimum, the bloody external assaults that freed the jihadis, along with a subsequent uptick in violence in North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, has caused alarm.

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